Google tries to make YouTube as sticky as TV

Mon, May 31, 2010


The average person watches about 5 hours of TV a day. The average YouTube viewer spends about 15 minutes a day watching videos, of which that time is split up between 6 separate offerings. Google is looking for ways to keep viewers on the site for longer periods of time, and concedes that the nature of YouTube itself makes that a challenging proposition. In other words, every time a user reaches the end of a video, it gives them an easy exit to go do something else.

The solution? YouTube Leanback.

This fall, YouTube says it will introduce a radically different, uncluttered look, with YouTube Leanback. It will have a separate Web address and will start playing a video the moment a user clicks on the site. When one video ends, another will start automatically, eliminating those dreaded “decision points” that invite abandonment. Viewers will be able to select channels, but the flow of programs, whether short or long, will be continuous.

“There’s no browsing, no searching, no clicking. It behaves like you would expect television to,” said Hunter Walk, a YouTube program manager who provided a brief peek this month at Google’s developer conference.

Interesting. If Google’s planned YouTube initiative has any hopes of working, it better do a good job of filtering out the abundance of crap on the site (to be clear, YouTube Leanback will essentially be a user customizable TV channel). But while that “crap” is the fuel that drives YouTube’s popularity, an endless stream of continuously interchanging videos just doesn’t seem that appealing when you’re not plopped down on the couch. Especially on the web, where users are prone to multitasking and making more active choices about the content they digest, videos on constant rotation may be the last thing surfers want.

via NY Times



Comments are closed.

eXTReMe Tracker